Nine Seniors Inducted into Cum Laude SocietyWritten by Andrea Miller
On Wednesday, September 11, nine members of the senior class were inducted into the Cum Laude Society for their outstanding academic performance through their first three years in the Upper School. The inductees make up the top 10 percent of their class based on their cumulative grade-point averages.
Alumni Speaker Susie Katus '04 addressed the inductees and the entire Upper School community, remarking how a Friends education emphasizes the importance of diversity and community and develops well-rounded, open-minded citizens.
"What I learned in my time at Friends is that it takes a community to achieve great things," said Katus. "It takes a community to overcome really great obstacles. And it's that diversity that's going to drive us forward."
A unique FA tradition...
Each year hand calligrapher Pete Manzolillo visits Friends Academy at two different points to hand letter the names of the awardees of Cum Laude, the Headmaster's Commendation, the Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Alumni Association 50th Anniversary Award.
A hand calligrapher since 1979, Pete is one of the only artisans left in this field on Long Island. And Friends Academy is his only hand-lettering assignment. Most other jobs call for computer-cut vinyl for general signs, windows, and trucks. "[Hand calligraphy] has personality and individuality," Pete explained.
On the morning that students are inducted into the Cum Laude Society, Pete simultaneously paints their name on the wooden Cum Laude board that hangs in the hallway of Frost Hall. One hour later, the paint is dry, and the names are memorialized for years to come.